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Hawkeyes interview with Ron “StreetKnife”, Patrick “PF/Pink Floyd” Finch and Stacey “SS” Schmitt

© Jennifer Keith

The more you look the more you find.  It’s a good rule of thumb to live by and a great descriptor not only for Hawkeyes but the Canadian psych scene as a whole I think.  The more I’ve dug and picked, peeping into the cracks and dark corners of the psychedelic sludge that is seeping from Canada’s pores the more intense and insane it’s gotten, and Hawkeyes are a perfect example of that.  An instrumental, four guitar, sonic assault of doom tinged face melting psychedelia.  By now you might be familiar with my obsession with our great neighbors to the north as chronicled in several earlier articles but Hawkeyes are the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the sundae if you will.  Running in the same circles, but not enjoying nearly the amount of exposure as, Krang, Shooting Guns and Powder Blue all of whom I’ve already talked to Hawkeyes are anything but followers bringing their own take on psychedelic, metal, sludge rock.  And damned it it’s not awesome.  With one sold out tape and another on its way I thought it was long past time to sit down with the boys from Hawkeyes and talk some serious shop.  Three of the founding members Ron “StreetKnife”, Patrick “PF/Pink Floyd” Finch and Stacey “SS” Schmitt took time out of their busy schedules to finish this sucker, and it’s a doozy!  If you’re not already listening to Hawkeyes make sure you click the link below so you can follow along with through the hazy smoke filled, foul stale beer stinking air…

Listen while you read:

© Jennifer Keith

What’s Hawkeyes current lineup?  Is this your original lineup or have there been any changes?

PF:  Hawkeyes are myself on Les Paul guitar, Stacey Schmitt on hilariously over-sized drums, Kaiser on Les Paul guitar, Blackout on Blackout custom 4 string bass, Lord Streetknife on Explorer guitar and RA on Roy guitar.  SS, Blackout and I formed the band and were quickly joined by all of our cool friends who played guitar and were up for shotgunning some beers and getting fuckin’ loud.  As Blackout said at our initial practice “If it’s not loud, it’s not allowed.”

Stacey:  Hawkeyes is and will always be Blackout, RA, Lord Streetknife, PF, Kaiser and myself.

Are any of you in any other bands at this point?  The more I talk to people the more I realize that people these days are often in several very active bands at once.  Have you released any music with anyone else?  If so can you tell us about it?

Ron:  I play guitar in Saigon Hookers.  We’ve released two CDs and three EPs over the last eight years.  All are available on iTunes, or from the boxes in my garage.

PF:  Kaiser and I released five records and toured in a band called the Stars Here for about ten years.  Now we play in the Hawk Dawsons.  I also play in Tree Lung with SS and Hawkeyes’ artwork designer, Roan Master Bateman.  RA plays in shit-tons of bands, basically anyone who needs a stunt guitar player.  Streetknife is in Saigon Hookers and Blackout occasionally reforms his Portland-based band Village Idiot.

Stacey:  PF touched on that, so there is not much I can add.

Where are you originally from?

Ron:  Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

PF:  I was born and raised in Kitchener.

Stacey:  I’m originally from a very small village called St. George.  Now I’m a Waterlooian.  Waterlooster?  Yeah, I live in Waterloo now.

Was the home you grew up in very musical growing up?  Were either of your parents or any of your relatives extremely interested or involved in music?

Ron:  Nope.  Music was in the car, on the radio, from A to B.

PF:  Not much in the way of tunes in my house, but my uncle was, and is, a rad guitar player and singer.  He was a big early influence on me.  He looked kick-ass playing his Gibson ES-325.

Stacey:  Not at all really.  My parents made my brother and I take piano lessons as kids and I really wish I retained that talent, but it’s long gone.  My pops played the fiddle at some point in his life, but I never saw him play.

What was your first real exposure to music?  When was that?

Ron:  KISS.  Paul Lynde Halloween Special, 1976 or ‘77?  That’s all it took.

PF:  I started buying AC/DC tapes real cheap at Zeller’s when I was about twelve or thirteen.  You could get their shitty 80’s albums for about five bucks, which was still a little outta my range.

Stacey:  Probably like Streetknife it was the car radio and whatever LPs and 8-tracks my parents had scattered around the house.  There was always music playing in the house, just not any instruments being played.

When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what brought that decision about?

Ron:  KISS.  Paul Lynde Halloween Special, 1976 or ‘77?  That’s all it took.  Did I say that already

PF:  I bought a twenty-dollar guitar with babysitting money and got lessons.  I learned lots of Hendrix and AC/DC before realizing that guys that played in cover bands were chumps, so I started writing terrible songs.  They got a little better as I got older…

Stacey:  Probably in grade nine or ten, so whatever age that was.  I heard albums by the bands godheadSilo, The Inbreds and Spacemen 3 and although each are radically different in sound, they all hit me hard and made me realize that I had been listening to horrible music and that needed to change.  Since The Inbreds and godheadSilo were both just bass and drums, I went out and bought a shit Fender Precision Bass and tried to emulate them by never turning off my distortion pedal.  I had a terrible band all the way through high school with my best friend at the time and we had fun, but we were pure rubbish.

If you had to pick the most massively important, transcendent moment of music in your life what would that be?

Ron:  Stop asking questions with the same answer.

PF:  Getting called on-stage to play guitar with my heroes, Rheostatics, was a real good one.  First time I heard Are You Experienced? was good too.  It was a real “oh shit” moment where I realized that this was what good music actually sounded like.  Not radio, pop bullshit.

Stacey:  As I stated above, it was those three bands that really kicked my music love into gear, that and when I first heard “Tom Sawyer” by RUSH on the radio.  That song honestly made me stop in my tracks and say “holy shit”!  I went on a RUSH rampage for the majority of my late public school career and most of high school; still love those dudes.  But more importantly was when I heard Spacemen 3 and as a result Spiritualized later down the line.  To me, no one can even come close to what Jason Pierce creates.  After hearing Spacemen 3 for the first time, it led me to an obsessive, some might say worrisome, love of all things J Spaceman.  To this day I worship at the altar of Jason Pierce.  Luckily my girlfriend’s very understanding though.

Where’s Hawkeyes currently located?

Ron:  Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.  The Sweatlodge Coven.

PF:  Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario.  They’re practically one big city.

Stacey:  Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario Canada.

How would you describe the local music scene where you all are at?

Ron:  Vibrant, overcrowded scene, of minimally to marginally talented singers, songwriters and college musicians.

PF:  Pretty alright, actually.  I think people treat music pretty well in this town, despite people always arguing otherwise.

Stacey:  It’s alive.  Not really a scene though, just sort of pockets here and there.  It’s a bit cliquey with a lot of bands/artists not sharing the stage with different genres and what have you, which is a bit of a bummer, but oh well.  The house show scene here is very alive and well and that rules.  There are a couple of promoters in town that like to book in places that usually wouldn’t have live music and I think that’s incredible.  They are really stepping it up and bringing in some rad bands that I wouldn’t have heard otherwise.  I applaud you Marc and Cory.

Are you very involved in the local music scene?

Ron:  As little as I can get away with.

PF:  I write for the local daily newspaper and I interview tons of local and touring bands as a result.  In the past, I ran a modest label and put on lots of shows.  Now I’m old and jaded and lazy, thank god.

Stacey:  Not as much as I should or could be.  I seem to always find out about rad shows after the fact or right as they are happening.  I understand that I can’t support everything, nor would I really want to, but when I see people really put their neck out on the line by booking shows that they’ll probably be losing money or breaking even on, but still treating the bands like gold and making sure they have money at the end of the night, well hell, damn right I will support that!  So once again, I applaud you Marc and Cory.

Has the local music scene played a large role in the sound, history or evolution of Hawkeyes?

Ron:  Nope.

PF:  Only in so much as we are an anomaly within our “scene”.  Which is cool, you wanna hang on to that.

Stacey:  Not at all.  Hawkeyes play a large role in Hawkeyes’ history and evolution.  It seems like we sort of float on the outskirts of this city.  More people know and care about us nationally and globally than compared to our “scene”.  That’s not arrogant pretension or me knocking this city, we just don’t want to wear ourselves thin in this town like some other bands.  Wow, I sound like an asshole.  That said the support we do receive when we play here is incredible.  We are very humbled when people come to our shows here time and again and actually know our songs.  That’s a great feeling and I thank each and every one of you.

When and how did you all originally meet?

Ron:  I’ve known Blackout since I was ten years old.  The rest I met later.

PF:  Kaiser and I have been tight since we were in grade nine, I showed him his first guitar chords and now he Yngwies all over me.  We went to high school with RA who was the hot-shit guitar player in school even back then.  SS was, and is, a regular at the record shop I manage and we got tight bonding over Brant Bjork.  Blackout and Streetknife are life-long friends who we met through gigs and mutual acquaintances.

Stacey:  PF and Streetknife touched on that quite clearly.  They all knew one another and this yahoo came later.  I will always be the new guy.  I get hazed relentlessly.  Screw those dingos.

What lead to the formation of Hawkeyes and when was that?

Stacey:  PF’s dream of playing music with a lot of hunks.

Ron:  PF’s stoner rock dream.

PF:  About two years ago.  I literally just had a dream one night about forming a stoner band with SS and Blackout and woke up thinking that was a great idea.  I e-mailed them and we made it happen.  Everyone else just wanted to hang.  And it was a great idea.  Good dream!

What does the name Hawkeyes mean or refer to?  How did you go about coming up with and choosing the name?

Ron:  We love college football teams from Iowa and/or Alan Aldas.

Stacey:  I defer that question to PF.

PF:  Coming up with a good band name is pretty much impossible, but Hawkeyes was one I’d had in my pocket for a while; probably because of M*A*S*H.  Turns out, there’s another shitty metal band called Hawk Eyes.  I haven’t actually heard them, but I assume they’re shitty.

While we are talking about Hawkeyes’ history can you share who some of your major musical influences are?  What about influences on the band as a whole rather than individually?

Ron:  Early: Kiss, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, lather, rinse, repeat.  Contemporary: Kvelertak, Hellacopters, Electric Wizard, Uncle Acid, Red Fang, Turbonegro, Biters, Fu Manchu, Brant Bjork and so on and so forth.

PF:  We have a lot of influences musically; Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Brant Bjork, Ty Segall, Dinosaur Jr.  But I think we’re mostly influenced by the possibilities that Hawkeyes gives each of us.  We have no borders, no message, and no goals beyond having a good time.  We get inspired by our phasers, flangers, guitars and cymbals too.  And our pot, and our beer, and our knowledge that we’re the only fuckers that do what we do.

Stacey:  I have musical idols, but I’m not sure if they influence my playing at all, mostly because I’m a hack caveman basher on the kit.  Plus, I wouldn’t want to copy their sound or style as they’ve already done that and do it miles better.  Not to mention then the feel of my playing would be lost I think.  As for drummers that I look up to; first will always be John Stanier (Helmet, Tomahawk).  His work on the first four Helmet LPs are what drumming is all about to me.  Darren Verni (Unearthly Trance, Serpentine Path) is another fave.  Verni just crushes the drums and his tone has always given me a drum boner.  Same with Vinnie Signorelli (Unsane, Swans), his plodding beats in Unsane are pure magic to me, just so primal and driving yet intricate.  The song could have this blazing riff and he plays so slow at times it blows my mind.  Dan Haugh (godheadSilo, Smoke and Smoke) just always gives it his all and usually ends us puking as a result; I can relate to that.  Jim Ginther (Shooting Guns) is mega rad too.  I could watch him play “Motherfuckers Never Learn” all day.  In fact I’m going to get him to do just that to appease me and to watch him collapse around the twenty-two hour mark.  Then there’s always Neil Peart, yeah, typical drummer response, but damn.  As for influences on Hawkeyes as a band; I agree with PF.  Our gear, tone and drugs and booze influence us more than any outside source.  We can barely remember our songs, so trying to emulate others would be a pointless venture.  We basically cover our own songs every time we play.

There are a lot of things that I love about music.  I love listening to music, I love sharing it with people and I love talking about it.  What I do not love is describing music.  I’m awful at it and it just never seems to come off right and I waste a bunch of time on these really awkward attempts at conveying these grandiose emotions about music that just come off really stilted and, well, just dumb.  How would you describe Hawkeyes’ sound to our readers who might not have heard you before?

PF:  You know when the Death Star explodes in Star Wars?  We’re like that; a giant, devastating explosion that’s equal parts joy and release (the rebels), and terror and sadness (the imperials).

Ron:  Cosmic space doom…  From space.

Stacey:  I wish I could channel my good friend Chris Laramee to answer this.  I will go out on a limb and say space grass, laced with LSD stoned astronauts on tequila and Nyquil binges trying to create a black hole by harnessing the solar waves to relive their youth.

Can you tell us about Hawkeyes’ songwriting process?  Is there someone who approaches the rest of the band with a riff or somewhat finished product to work out and compose with the rest of the band?  Or is there a lot of exchange of ideas and jamming during practices with all the members of the band contributing simultaneously?

Ron:  Cram six dudes in a small, hot, sweaty room and, instead of filming a gay porno, have one of them start playing a riff.  Allow magic to happen.

PF:  We don’t tend to have finished products.  We just each make riffs and show them off.  If the riff is cool, we can usually build it into something humongous and scary and melodic pretty fast.  RA is a technical wonder.  He can play anything, and he does.  Streetknife is a metal guy who could shred if he didn’t have such good taste.  Kaiser wants to be David Gilmour and Dean Ween.  I try to hang tight and weird with SS and Blackout to anchor the ship.  As a result, we all bring different approaches.  We work well enough with each other that we never step on each other’s toes; we’re always making room for each other.  And we listen to each other.  We’re adorable.

Stacey:  It’s all about the jams man.  I just try to put a beat behind the electrically amplified waves and hope we remember what we just birthed.

Do you all enjoy recording?  I mean I know that the end result of the recoding process is amazing, there’s not a whole lot in the world that beats having an album knowing that it’s yours and you made it.  Getting into the studio and recording that material though, it can be trying to say the very least.  How is it in the studio for you all?

Ron:  Recording likey.  The techie end of it is lots of fun…  And so is overdubbing guitars over our already-four-axe cacophony.

PF:  The nature of our music dictates that we have to record live; it’s 90% improvised.  We practice and write at RA’s studio, so when we have something we like, we just press record.  It’s very relaxed, set up some good mics and let it rip for a few hours.

Stacey:  I love the whole recording process.  I think it brings out the best in all of us.  It can really push you to be awesome, and I need a lot of pushing to get to that point.  Mind you I nail my beats the first time every time.  Well, in my head I do, and since we record live off the floor as a whole collective, my mistakes can get buried in the swirling vortex those stringed instrument guys create.  I thank them for that.  I dig watching those dudes pull sounds out of their machines and then have RA isolate everyone’s tracks in the control room to see what they’re doing.  It blows my mind that I get to play with these guys.

Do you do a lot of prep work before recording getting arrangements just the way you want them or is it more of an experimental off-the-cuff process with room for variation and change?

Stacey:  Our prep work is trying to remember how our songs go.

Ron:  Totally off the cuff.  We’ve never played the same “song” twice.

PF:  Always very experimental.  We try to practice just enough; so its second nature, but nothing’s written in stone.  Don’t get too comfortable cause it’s all subject to change.

Last year (2012) you released the Armageddon hailing sonic assault that was the SSS 002 A: Spring’s Skull Splits Presents Hawkeyes cassette tape.  With only two tracks and a thirteen minute run time on your side it would have been easy to overlook, but man that album is a freaking ripper!  “Dawn Of The Deaf” is a devastating song to say the least!  Can you tell us about recording the material for that first cassette?  Was it a pleasurable, fun experience for you all?  When and where was that material recorded?  Who recorded it and what kind of equipment was used?

Ron:  Other band members/question answerers:  Yours!

Stacey:  Thanks dude, glad you dig our debut vibes.  It was fun.  It was my first recording experience in ages and that was a blast.  I defer the equipment used aspect of this to RA as he’s the wizard in that arena.  We recorded it in a weekend I think.  There might be other tracks recorded from that session lurking forgotten somewhere.

PF:  Again, recorded at RA’s studio by Ryan Allen, using whatever was around.  All improvised; run a couple of takes and use the best one.  It’s always lots of fun.  We hang out, watch Midnight Special, smoke pot, drink beer and have a lot of laughs.  Then we tune down, turn up and kick ass.

I unfortunately wasn’t lucky enough to have picked one of those up as they sold out in three days!  Who was the split with?  I know that the SSS 002 tape was limited, how many copies was it limited to?  Are there any plans to rerelease that tape or at least your material from it?

PF:  That split was with Eyes Like Candy, a mental solo band by our pal Paul Copoc from the Familiar Fiends.  I think it was limited to 50 copies; that material has since been re-recorded, some of it for our most recent cassette.

Stacey:  Yeah, it sold fast; somehow.  Not sure how many were made, but the good, good people over at Springs Skull put together an incredible package for that cassette.  Hand sewn, hand screened canvas bags closed up with 1” buttons of each band represented.  Class act and it made us look legit, that’s a feat in itself.  No plans to re-release it.  It had its moment and that moment has passed.  You can download it for free off of our Bandcamp page for histories sake. 

You followed up the Spring’s Skull Split with this year’s Poison Slows You Down cassette which is also a limited edition, this time of one hundred though at this point there are plans to press the album to vinyl in the future as well.  Who put out Poison Slows You Down?  Was the recording very different than the session(s) for your earlier split?  When was this material recorded and who recorded it?  Where was it recorded and what kind of equipment was used?

Ron:  We’re getting into Stacey territory here.  I don’t have the inside track on all this releasey mumbo jumbo.

PF:  We put out the tape ourselves.  The recording wasn’t different at all, but we were a little older and wiser as a band by then, which probably helped.  And I remembered to bring my Theremin.

Stacey:  As PF said, we released it ourselves and it was recorded the same way as SSS 002 A.  I asked RA to make my drums and cymbals sound huge and concussive, and he nailed it.  It was initially meant to be released as a vinyl split with the incredible band Atolah from Holland.  Sadly they broke up during the process so that changed our plans a bit.  We didn’t want to sit on these recordings any longer, so we decided to release it digitally and on cassette to get it out there.  I ended up dubbing all of the tapes myself as the pro-dubber we borrowed from a friends bands shit the bed and so did PF’s deck, I was the only one left with the means to dub.  So I got to hear this album one hundred times in real time.  I never want to hear it again.  I stamped/screened each cassette with our logo and such, and then my girlfriend Rebecca, PF, our art guru Roan Bateman and I had an assembly line to put them all together.  Roan cut them out, I folded them, PF numbered each one and Rebecca put the final package together.  Good times.

With the plans to press the cassette on vinyl are you guys solely concentrating on that or are you working on any new material right now?  Are there any other releases in the works or on the horizon at this point?  I know you are you going to be doing a KickStarter or IndieGoGo page for pressing the vinyl version of Poison Slows You Down can you tell our readers how to get involved with that?

Ron:  I learned a new song on stage last week.  And crowdsourcing projects are in their death throes.

PF:  We are always working on new material.  We’ve recently written “The National Anthem” and “The New Real National Anthem”, both of which are strong indicators of our way forward.  We’re going to put out the LP and then see what happens.   We’ll be paying for it ourselves though; no KickStarter or anything.  I’m conflicted about that sorta thing and Hawkeyes have no reason to be beholden to a bunch of shareholders.  I’d rather people bought something we made, rather than something we hope to make if we can raise enough money.  Gross.

© Jennifer Keith

Stacey:  We would love to release this beast on wax but for now we might just focus on the next recording as we just want to keep releasing stuff to keep it fresh and alive.  There are releases in the works, some of which I am not at liberty to say more about yet; but they will be rad.  We really don’t believe in KickStarter or IndieGoGo.  If you can’t afford to release your music in this day and age with all of the tools afforded to you to do so, well, maybe you just weren’t meant to put stuff out.  We would rather give our music away for free than to beg our fans to pay for us for it.  That just seems kind of slimy.

Where’s the best place for our U.S. readers to purchase your music?

PF:  Facebook and the Orange Monkey.

Ron:  Canada, or Bandcamp.

Stacey:  On our Bandcamp page at the moment.  I take care of the mail order aspect of Hawkeyes.  I try to personalize each package I send out and I like to add bonus gifts in there too.  I try my best to get everything mailed out a few days after people place their orders.  So if you have a complaint, I guess I’m to blame.

With the completely insane international postage rate increases what about our overseas readers?  Whenever possible I try to provide them with options when there are any!

Stacey:  I do my best to be honest on the postage when I mail stuff out.  We just want people to have our music.  We’re not in this to gouge our fans for extra money on shipping.  The postage rates are nuts these days and if I have to lose a bit of money to make sure people get our music, well I’m willing to do that.  I think most bands are.

Where’s the best place for our readers to keep up with the latest news like upcoming shows and album releases from Hawkeyes at?

Ron:  Facebook, Bandcamp.  Do we have Soundcloud?

Stacey:  Our Facebook page for sure.  We’re usually on top of that shit.

Are there any special or major goals that you’re looking to accomplish in 2014?

Ron:  Add a fifth guitar player.  You know, to help round out our sound.

Stacey:  Simply to play shows with rad bands and release a ton of music.

What do you have planned as far as touring goes from the rest of the year?  With the New Year rapidly approaching what about 2014?

Ron:  Either random one-offs or a massive international tour preceded by the handing-off of a briefcase full of money.

© Jennifer Keith

Stacey:  What Streetknife said, plus we have a major tour planned with Shooting Guns.  We were able to get the use of Led Zeppelin’s old airplane The Starship and the tour will take all eleven of us musicians, our wives, girlfriends and our pets all over the world for about two years straight.  It’s written in the contract that in year two of the tour, Hawkeyes get the synth wizard skills of Steven Reed.  Shooting Guns have had him to themselves for too long, it’s our turn now.

© Jennifer Keith
© Jennifer Keith

Who are some of your favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to share a bill with?

PF:  I’m really looking forward to playing with Sleepy Sun next month.

Ron:  ShootingGuns.  Period.  And possible Sleepy Suns.  It hasn’t happened yet.

Stacey:  Shooting Guns and Cellos for sure!  Both bands are beyond incredible and more people need to know about them.  We can’t thank Shooting Guns enough for spreading the word about us.  We try to repay the gesture as much as we can; same goes for Cellos.  You will never meet nicer dudes than the guys in Shooting Guns and Cellos.

In your dreams, who are you on tour with?

Ron:  I don’t tour in my dreams.  I run in quicksand from zombies.

PF:  My nude wife.

Stacey:  1st Battalion 9th Marines unit in the Vietnam War in 1969.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to share here with our readers?

Ron:  No.

Stacey:  Not sure if it’s funny, but the day of a show with Shooting Guns, PF got food poisoning, Streetknife had to have emergency dental surgery and couldn’t feel his face, led alone talk, and I ended up jabbing a screwdriver through my hand.  One other show we were shut down by the bar owner two minutes into the intro of our first song “Their Lust Grows With Their Size”.  She got all up in PFs face and left soon after in a rampage when the crowd started chanting our name and that we be allowed to play.  Needless to say we have not, and will not, ever play that shit hole again.  As Blackout says, “we would rather turn off than turn down”.

Do you have a preferred medium of release for your music?  With all of the various methods available to artists today I’m always curious why they choose and prefer the various mediums that they do?  What about when you’re buying or listening to music?  If so why?

Ron:  Written transcript.

PF:  We all like vinyl.  We’re junkies for it.  CDs are boring.  Tapes are cool and cheap, but even I don’t really have the patience for them.  You get better artwork with vinyl too, which means a lot to all of us.

Stacey:  Vinyl for sure, but really I am not against any medium.  I’m an avid vinyl junkie but any physical media is important and I support it.  Hell, we release cassettes.  We just want to get our music out there.  We’re not doing it because of a fad or to be hip, we just want to get it in the hands of people.  Sometimes we take the path of most resistance, but we get it to you.

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so can you tell us about it?

Ron:  It’s kept in a room inside my house.

PF:  I have hundreds of records and CDs.  Lots of everything good.  No bullshit.  SS just owns whatever Am Rep or Sub Pop have released limited editions of.  I only have stuff that rules.

Stacey:  It’s huge and it keeps growing.  I love the fact that I can use it to introduce my girlfriend to all sorts of bands and artists she might end up digging.  It’s a great romance tool.  Or am I a great romance tool?

I’m an addict and I readily admit it.  There’s something about physically released music that is almost magical to me.  Having an album to hold in your hands, liner notes to read and artwork to look at.  It all serves for a more complete listening experience, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with physical releases?

Ron:  It’s cool that you dig vinyl records, but I think the larger issue here is your addiction!

PF:  I don’t download and I don’t really burn CDs.  I really don’t think computers are suited to being stereos.  I like to put my money down.  I have no problem paying for stuff I like, or even paying for stuff that I might like.  It’s a good gamble and sweeter when it pays off.  When I was young and buying music, that twenty dollars was hard to come by.  So when I bought a record, I had to justify that purchase and find reasons to like records.  My investment was real and I think that increased my enjoyment.  Today, I’m still broke, so I still have to invest wisely.

Stacey:  Like I said, I support all physical media.  I need to have it in my hands.  I dig when bands/labels put download codes in their releases, as we do, so you can have the portability aspect.  But I need to hold music media in my hands.  I’m a nerd about it all too and love reading the liner notes and making connections to other bands and such.  It’s great.

As much as I love my music collection I can’t deny that I dig on digital music as well.  The ease and portability still amazes me, I never thought there would come a day when I could lug around my entire music collection and not have to worry about dinging, denting, bending, warping or scratching it.  There’s always good and bad with any situation though and while digital music when teamed with the internet seems to be leveling the playing field for independent artists willing to promote themselves and keep up an online presence, it’s also destroying decades of infrastructure inside the music industry.  As an artist during the reign of the digital era what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

Ron:  Adapt or die.  And then die.

PF:  I’m a record man.  I’m in Hawkeyes and we release tapes and wax.  We’ll include digital downloads so you can burn it for listening to it in your car, but that’s about it.  Digital music is an easy game, and we’re difficult, pretty much across the board.

Stacey:  I’m all for it.  I have my iPod with me when I drive, go for walks, etcetera.  And yeah, having my entire collection with me at the touch of a button is still mind boggling.  But when I’m home, the digital files go away and the wax gets placed on the turntable.  I love the connection and dedication you have to have when listening to LPs.  But as far as the ease of use with digital files, yeah, I’m all for that.  Like Streetknife said, you have to adapt, but you can’t forget your roots.  Shit, I’m getting preachy.  Shut up SS!!!

If you can’t tell I’m passionate about music!  I love listening to a new band, learning and experiencing something that I’ve never seen or heard before.  Who should I be listening to from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of?

Ron:  Saigon Hookers, and I’m not just saying that because I’m in the band.  Okay, I am.

PF:  Shooting Guns, Saigon Hookers, Familiar Fiends and Cellos.

Stacey:  Two bands in our city that I really dig are Sierra and Exalt.  Both are recently signed to great labels and are touring their dicks off.  Sierra just got back from a month long US tour with Kylesa and apparently slayed.  I don’t think Exalt ever stops touring.

What about nationally and internationally?

Ron:  My iPod played a song on Shuffle while I was at the gym yesterday.  I stopped to look and see what it was because it was awesome and I hadn’t heard it before, but now I forget.

PF:  Fuzz, Sweet Apple, Sleepy Sun, Heavy Blanket and The Warlocks.

Stacey:  Nationally; of course I’m going to say Shooting Guns and Cellos.  Others that are really twisting my melon are Holy Mount from Toronto, Crosss from Toronto/Halifax, Powder Blue and Wasted Cathedral from Saskatoon, Krang from Edmonton, Comet Control, Ex-Quest For Fire blokes, from Toronto and Familiar Fiends from Brantford.  Internationally, hmmm...  The usual suspects like Cult Of Dom Keller, Carlton Melton, The Warlocks, Night Beats, A Place To Bury Strangers, Crippled Black Phoenix, Sleepy Sun and Dead Skeletons.

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview, I know it wasn’t short or easy but hopefully it was at least a little bit fun.  Is there anything that I missed or that you just want to talk about?

Ron:  Man, I wish I could remember that song.  It was a dude’s name I think, possibly Spanish.

PF:  My wife’s breasts.  They’re dynamite.

Stacey:  Pat’s wife’s breasts may be dynamite, but my girlfriends are out of this world.

(2012)  Hawkeyes – SSS 002 A:  Spring’s Skull Splits Presents Hawkeyes – Cassette Tape – Spring Skull Recordings (Limited to ? copies)
(2013)  Hawkeyes – Poison Slows You Down – Cassette Tape – Self-Released (Limited to 100 hand-screened copies made by the band in four colors: orange, blue, pink and green)

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
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